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June 27, 2013

USF is on a run of local talent - who's next to commit?

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With the verbal pledge of Tampa Bay Tech ATH Tajee Fullwood to the USF Bulls football class of 2014, the local talent in Tampa Bay is lining up behind Willie Taggart and staff.

Fullwood joins QB Chase Litton, ATH Deiondre Porter, RB Jarvis Stewart, LB Frankie Hernandez and DB Devin Abraham as local Tampa Bay athletes committed.

Taggart's Great Wall of Tampa Bay concept appears to be a hit with the local coaching staffs, who have longed for the Tampa-based school to cultivate the local market and keep the local talent home.

With that said, here's a look at five local prospects that have USF on their mind - and the likelihood of joining the #DoSomething Express.

Vincent Jackson

6-foot-3, 245 pounds - Linebacker - Tampa Jesuit

Take a look at Vincent Jackson's offers - you see schools like Alabama, Auburn, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas A&M and USC - among many others. Jackson still has high interest in the hometown Bulls.

He had this to say to AuburnSports.com on May 28th - when he released his top twelve schools which includes USF. University of South Florida- "Hometown school first off. I am close with their coaching staff. From them being the first offer kind of locks them."

Jackson told Runningthebulls.com Wednesday that the next time he trims down his list - USF will be in it 'for sure'. He also said he plans on committing to a school around the halfway mark of his senior year.

USF stands out on his list because of his relationship with the coaching staff - and is the hometown school.

T.J. Harrell

6-foot-1, 210 pounds - ATH - Tampa Catholic

Harrell has had Florida State and USF at the top of his list for quite some time. Harrell, like Vincent Jackson, is one of the more targeted Tampa Bay targets throughout the country.

June 12th Harrell told Runningthebulls.com that USF and FSU are completely even. Harrell likes USF being close to home as well as of course - being a big fan of Coach Taggart.

If TJ Harrell ultimately signs with USF - and Jarvis Stewart does too - you're talking about a very talented duo of running backs with a ton of upside.

Ray Raulerson

6-foot-5, 275 pounds - offensive line - Plant

Raulerson told RTB early in June that he's going to commit to a school sometime in July. He is 'high' on USF - but how high?

Well, Raulerson is a Plant product - they're known for keeping things close to their vest (can't blame them). USF has a shot at Raulerson - especially with the high praises we've heard of USF offensive line coach Walt Wells.

Raulerson has 26 offers from schools like UCF, Boston College, Kentucky, Louisville and N.C. State just to name a few. His size and speed fit well with the type of lineman USF is looking for.

Tre Watson

6-foot-1, 214 pounds - Linebacker - Tampa Catholic.

Watson is TJ Harrell's teammate at Tampa Catholic - Watson had an eye-popping 17 sacks last year. Watson picked up the USF offer in April - and has been recruited by USF wide receivers coach David Reaves.

Watson doesn't have the same high profile name like Vincent Jackson - but he would be a big grab for USF. Could Harrell and Watson come to USF together? That would be something fans would like to see.

Jocqui Ellison

5-foot-10, 170 pounds - Wide Receiver - St. Petersburg Lakewood

Perhaps the biggest performer at Saturday Night Live, or any of the throwing sessions/satellite camps - Ellison is seen as a solid USF lean.

He has been a target, and has been on campus with Litton - for the throwing session last Wednesday and just looked incredibly fast and agile.

The speedster likes the Bulls and was very close to committing last week, but backed off.

We don't think he's 'leaning' anywhere else, but think he decided to focus on his academics this summer and fall before committing.

USF is also targeting athletes in Manatee, Sarasota, Polk, Pasco, Citrus and Hernando Counties (considered part of Tampa Bay metro) but for the purpose of this story, we wanted to focus on the Hillsborough/Pinellas connection.



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